Steinbeck Festival Film Series

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Steinbeck Festival Film Series

March 26, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - April 30, 2018 @ 8:00 pm


The National Steinbeck Center and Maya Cinemas will offer a FREE film series:

“Women in Film”

March 26 – April 30

Mondays, 6:00 PM

Maya Cinemas, 153 Main Street, Salinas

The film series will kick off the 37th annual Steinbeck Festival

The 2018 Steinbeck Festival (May 4-6) will explore “The Women of Steinbeck’s World”

March 26

Tortilla Flat (1942) | Introduction by Hetty Yelland, English Instructor, Hartnell College

Tortilla Flat introduces a young Paisano, Danny, who inherits two houses in Tortilla flat, the pine dotted hills above Monterey. Soon after, his vagabond friends set about on many mischievous adventures. Based on the Steinbeck novel by the same name. One of Hedy Lamarr’s 18 films between 1940-49; she portrays Dolores Ramirez, Danny Alvarez’s (John Garfield) love interest and motivation to greater ambition. Introduced by Dr. Hetty Yelland, Professor of English, Hartnell College.


April 2

Harlan County, USA (1976) | Introduction by Frank Garden, Contract Enforcement Specialist, SEUI

This 1976 Oscar-winning documentary film covers the “Brookside Strike”, a strike led by 180 southern Kentucky coal miners and their wives against the Eastover Coal Company’s Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in 1973. Directed and produced by Barbara Kopple, a longtime advocate of workers’ rights, Kopple spent years with the families in the film, documenting the dire situation of striking for safer working conditions, fair labor practices, and decent wages.


April 9

Julia (1977) | Introduction by Jennifer Grohol, Professor of History and Social Science at Hartnell and MPC

Oscar-winning drama depicts the friendship between playwright Lillian Hellman and her childhood friend Julia. They both find themselves embroiled in a dangerous mission to undermine Nazi Germany. The film was directed by Fred Zinnemann and based off Lillian Hellman’s book Pentimento. Starring Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jason Robards, the film also Meryl Streep’s movie debut.



April 16

Frozen River (2008) | Introduced by Magnolia Zarraga, Immigration Attorney, Salinas

Frozen River follows working-class mothers one white, one Mohawk Indian who form an uneasy alliance to traffic illegal immigrants from Canada to the United States through a borderland Indian reservation for the possibility of easy cash. The two single-mothers from very different backgrounds meet New York State Troopers as opponents in an evolving cat-and-mouse game.



April 23

Twentieth Century Women (2016) | Introduction by Karen Rotabi, CSUMB Professor of Social Work, Chair of the Department of Social Work

This comedy-drama focuses on the struggles and joys of raising a teenage boy in a bohemian Californian household in 1979. Dorothea (Annette Bening), a divorcee running a boarding house contends with the raising of 15 year-old Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann). Boarders Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Julie (Elle Fanning) all contribute to the upbringing and development of Jamie. The three women all contend with ideas of love, boundaries, and growing up. The film was nominated for two Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy and Best Actress, as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.


April 30

East of Eden (1955) | Introduction by Lisa Josephs, NSC Archivist

IMDB describes East of Eden, based loosely on John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name, as the story of a wilful young man contending against his brother for the attention of their religious father while reconnecting with his estranged mother and falling for his brother’s girlfriend. While it is not wrong, the story also touches on the culture of the Salinas Valley around World War I and the tumultuous relationship of a son vying for his father’s attention over a favored brother. The movie still celebrates two of the strong female characters from the book, Kate (Jo Van Fleet), the Trask boy’s mother and brothel madame, and Abra (Julie Harris) Aaron’s doting girlfriend. Van Fleet won an Academy Award for her role.

Although the movie contains many fundamental differences from the beloved book, The American Film Institute has named the film as one of the best 400 American films of all time. It was even selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in the Library of Congress. James Dean stars in his first major screen role as Cal Trask and there are many scenes shot in Monterey and Salinas. No matter which version of the epic tale you like better, join us to see the movie in all its glory. We can debate the pros and cons together!


May 3

“Farms to Incubators: Telling the stories of minority women entrepreneurs in agtech in the Salinas Valley and beyond” |Amy Wu, Investigative Reporter, The Poughkeepsie Journal

“Farms to Incubators: Telling the stories of minority women entrepreneurs in agtech in the Salinas Valley and beyond” a film on women in Ag Tech by Amy Wu. Reception and discussion to follow screening at Maya Cinemas. Wu is a veteran journalist with significant international reporting and teaching experience, having worked at Time magazine, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, for the USA Today Network and has written for The New York Time, HuffPost and Wall Street Journal. She spent six years working in Hong Kong, widely reporting within the Asia-Pacific region including Shanghai and Singapore. She has a passion for writing about intersections between gender, agriculture and innovation.